Efforts to manage
populations of threatened and endangered plant species in Illinois are
hindered by limited knowledge regarding their reproductive biology.
Without additional knowledge, the survival of these species in Illinois is
at risk. Dr. Janice Coons and Dr. Henry Owen, along with Mrs. Nancy
Coutant and Mr. Brent Todd, have been assessing whether
current factors are limiting the development of several of these threatened
and endangered plants. Their research involves field surveys as well
as lab research including flower initiation, flower development,
pollination, fertilization, seed development, seed dormancy, germination,
and seedling establishment.
This research involves both undergraduate
and graduate students investigating these plants throughout the year.
Student investigators have presented their research at professional meetings
and to professional affiliations such as Botanical Society of America, Environmental Horizons,
Illinois Native Plant Society, and Illinois State Academy of Science.
provides opportunities for students to participate actively in a scientific
endeavor and to increase our understanding of these threatened and
endangered plants so that more informed management decisions can be made.
In addition to threatened and endangered plants,
the program has also addressed invasive plant species and their
effect on Illinois native plant species.